Originally Published: July 16, 2014

Translating Day 3 of SEC media days


HOOVER, Ala. -- We know the drill at media days. Coaches can't be completely honest. They have to give tons of credit to their opponents and not say anything controversial. But what if they could say what they really wanted to? Here are our best guesses for what a few people at media days would have said if they could really speak freely:

SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw: "Last year, the 15-yard penalty stood no matter what. If the targeting foul was overturned, the player would get to go back in the game. Now if it's targeting only, not only does the player go back in the game, but we will not initiate a 15-yard penalty."

Translation: Did we get that wrong last year, or what? Frankly, I'm not sure what the heck we were thinking. Sorry it took so long, but we've fixed the problem.

Bret Bielema on Gus Malzahn: "[He] runs a philosophy that's completely opposite of what I believe in. But who can argue with his success?"

Translation: You can't argue with it, but you might be able to legislate against it. Fear what you don't understand? Ask the powers that be to help rewrite the rule book.

Gary Pinkel on up-tempo offenses: "I don't buy the health issue in any way. It's never happened. No one has ever come into me all those years and said, 'Gosh, I'm really concerned about the health of our teams playing these fast-paced offenses.' I think it's fiction."

Translation: Coming from the Big 12, we ran up-tempo offenses before they were cool. There's no health concern. That's propaganda, plain and simple. Just look at who is trying to legislate against it. They have an ax to grind, don't they?

Les Miles on Leonard Fournette: "He expects himself to be something very special. I think if you look at Michael Jordan, he could not have been coached to be Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan accepted the role of expecting him to be better than any. I think he has a quiet confidence there that will benefit him."

Translation: Booooooooom! Yeah, I said it. Michael. Jeffrey. Jordan. My freshman running back is going to be an absolute beast. No need to downplay it.

Terrence Magee on QB competition: "You know ... (pause) the competition that they have going on right now is very competitive. Both guys have done a tremendous job in the spring, and I feel like throughout the summer each of them have progressed in their own way. So to me and the rest of the offense, we're comfortable with either guy they decide to be the starter."

Translation: The pause at the beginning said it all. Either Brandon Harris has already won the starting job or LSU could be in trouble at the position. But it's telling that I had to think about what I wanted to say before I spoke.

SEC media days: Day 3 awards

HOOVER, Ala. -- Les Miles talked vacations, the legend of Leonard Fournette continued to grow, and the debate over pace of play continued between Bret Bielema and Gary Pinkel. With that in mind, let's hand out some hardware.

Les Miles quote of the day
"I took a vacation. I went to Austin, took my three children with me, so we had six, two parents and four children on that campus. It was miserable. I hated it. But it was great fun. I mean, it was not a beach, it was not sand, but it was my family, and that was the best."

There's more, and it's all awesome.

Non-Les Miles coach quotes of the day: Bret Bielema, Arkansas
On his choice of media day speakers:
"I didn't bring the flashiest, sexiest, cutest. Everybody wants me to bring the quarterback, the pretty boys, the ones that are always popular. I brought three seniors that represent what Hog Football is all about."

On his relationship with Gus Malzahn:
"I can't say that we're breaking bread together and going to dinner when we can, but I'm not throwing bread at [Gus Malzahn] and rocks and everything else. It's just what it is. Greatly respected."

Player quote of the day: Terrence Magee, LSU
On Les Miles' eating habits:
"I had just come out of the game. I don't know if it was on special teams or whether we were on offense or what. I was standing beside coach Frank [Wilson] and I saw [Miles] take a knee. I didn't know what he was doing and I saw him reach down, pick up a piece of grass, looked at it and put in his mouth. I was like, 'This dude is serious.' I had seen it on TV before where he ate grass ... to see it in person, it was kind of funny."

Best nickname: Missouri defensive line aka D-Line Zoo
The Missouri defensive line's track record of producing elite players has resulted in a self-applied nickname for the crew. Said Markus Golden: "A lot of people try to call us 'Defensive Line U' but we call it 'D-Line Zoo.' We look at it as, we're Tigers, we're a bunch of animals on that D-line that play hard and physical. That's how we play hard and physical." Heck, at Missouri, you wonder if that can even be revised as "D-Line-ZOU," with a hat tip to "M-I-Z."

Best use of technology: Brey Cook, Arkansas

Sam Khan Jr. | email

ESPN Staff Writer


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